White S. African sentenced for racist killings

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) -- A white teenager has received four life sentences for a shooting spree that killed four blacks and wounded eight, re-igniting racial tensions in post-apartheid South Africa.

SABC radio reported Friday that 18-year-old Johan Nel's sentencing came after he was convicted on numerous counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons violations for the January shootings.

It was not immediately clear if he would be eligible for parole.

Nel pleaded guilty at the start of his trial Monday in Mmabatho, 180 miles (300 kilometers) north of Johannesburg.

Witnesses say Nel began firing on children in a poor black settlement. A 3-month-old who was being carried on her mother's back and a 10-year-old boy were among the dead.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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